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Rediff.com  » Sports » Images: Australian Open, Day 5, Melbourne

Images: Australian Open, Day 5, Melbourne

Last updated on: January 22, 2010 20:46 IST

Petrova puts Clijsters out of Australian Open

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Nadia Petrova proved she had no room for sentiment, dumping crowd favourite Kim Clijsters out of the Australian Open third round on Friday with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing in just 52 minutes.

The 19th-seeded Russian had never beaten Clijsters, who is still in the early stages of her return from retirement, in their four previous encounters.

Petrova wasted little time in stamping her mark on the match, keeping Clijsters off balance with powerful ground strokes and a clinical service game that stunned the Hisense Arena crowd into silence.

The Belgian, who won the US Open last year and the Brisbane International title shortly before the Australian Open, won just five points in the first set and committed 17 unforced errors.

Clijsters is, strangely enough, the last woman to record a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash at Melbourne Park against Russia's Vasilisa Bardina in the first round 2007.

Petrova broke serve again and while Clijsters was able to stave off two match points when the Russian was serving for victory, she was unable to stop her opponent's irrepressible momentum.


Image: Kim Clijsters leaves the court after losing to Russia's Nadia Petrova
Photographs: Reuters
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Brutal Safina advances

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A brutal Dinara Safina beat up Britain's Elena Baltacha to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-2 victory on Friday.

Undoubtedly wanting to spend as little time as possible on Rod Laver Arena in the stifingly humid conditions, the World No 2 took the first set in just 26 minutes despite losing her own serve once.

The Russian blasted winners and attacked the World No 83, setting up a fourth round match against either Maria Kirilenko or Roberta Vinci in 57 minutes.

The 23-year-old looked relaxed during the match on Rod Laver Arena, admitting afterwards she had acquired a new hobby in the culinary arts and gone to a local bookshop on her day off to purchase a cookbook.

"I had to buy two books. I like cooking. I'm having new apartment in Moscow," Safina told reporters.

"I'm like, 'okay, instead of library of books, I'll have cookbooks'. I want to cook. "I'm just starting, you know. Until now nobody got sick, so this is the positive. They might... not like, but if they have problems with the stomach, it's not good."

Talking about her match Safina said, "My game is trying to put pressure on opponent... so I managed to dictate from the first point of the match," Safina said.

"I think it was going everything right and during the match I was trying to do it more and more, to give her less, less time. "I think it was very solid match from my side. I played good. (and am) pretty satisfied with everything I did."


Image: Russia's Dinara Safina is pleased as punch after beating Elena Baltacha of Britain

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Bondarenko upsets Jankovic

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Alona Bondarenko ended a long drought against Jelena Jankovic with a third-round 6-2, 6-3 upset of the eighth seed in stifling conditions at the Australian Open on Friday.

The victory on Hisense Arena was the first for Bondarenko against Jankovic in 10 meetings, the Ukrainian having only previously taken one set off the Serb in nine matches.

It was also the first time Bondarenko, who won the Hobart International title last week, had advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

Jankovic is the second highest women's seed to be knocked out of the tournament after fifth seed Elena Dementieva was beaten by Justine Henin on Wednesday.


Image: Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko celebrates after winning a point against Jelena Jankovic

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Henin registers 500th career win

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Justine Henin continued her fairytale return to competitive tennis by coming from a set down to register her 500th career win and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Belgian Henin, unseeded because of her lack of tournament play since coming out of an 18-month retirement, beat 27th seeded Russian Alisa Kleybanova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The Belgian, who beat World No 5 Elena Dementieva in the second round on Wednesday, lost the final of the Brisbane International to compatriot Kim Clijsters in the buildup to the Australian Open.

Her next match will be against another Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, for a place in the quarter-finals. Wickmayer beat Italy's Sara Errani 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 in her third round tie.


Image: Justine Henin of Belgium acknowledges the spectators after defeating Russia's Alisa Kleybanova

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Roddick rallies to book fourth round berth

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Andy Roddick recovered from a set down to defeat Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 and advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Lopez, who had never beaten Roddick in five previous meetings, saved two match points in the fourth set tiebreaker, one of which incensed the American after camera views showed the Spaniard had reached over the net to put away a volley.

The seventh-seeded Roddick held firm, however, and sealed the tiebreaker 7-3 and the match in sweltering conditions at Rod Laver Arena after the Spaniard netted.

The American will next face Chilean Fernando Gonzalez after the 11th seed defeat Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev in five sets.


Image: Andy Roddick reacts during his match against Feliciano Lopez

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Murray advances to fourth round

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Andy Murray continued his quest to be the first British man to win a Grand Slam title in 74 years when he advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Florent Serra on Friday.

The 22-year-old Scot's progress to the fourth round looked like it would be an easy one when he raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set against the Frenchman, who had to play five sets in both of the previous rounds.

Though to Murray's frustration Serra levelled it at 3-3 then 5-5 but the World No 4 prevailed and increased the pressure on his crafty opponent's serve, loping away with the second and third sets.

He now plays either big serving American John Isner or 12th seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils in the next round.


Image: Andy Murray's supporters cheer him on during his match against France's Florent Serra

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Del Potro cruises into fourth round

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Juan Martin Del Potro booked his place in the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Germany's Florian Mayer on Friday.

The towering Argentina suffered a lapse in concentration in the second set but regained his composure to finish off his opponent in two and a half hours and avoid a repeat of his epic five-set match with James Blake in the second round.

Del Potro showed no obvious signs of fatigue from that match and seemed untroubled by his injured wrist in an ominous sign for his rivals heading into the second week of the championship.

The US Open champion and World No 5 plays either Marin Cilic or Stanislas Wawrinki on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals.


Image: Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro thanks his stars after beating Florian Mayer of Germany

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Rafa digs himself out of a hole

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Defending champion Rafael Nadal dug himself out of a mid-match slump to defeat Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 and advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Nadal, who had not dropped a set in his first two matches at Melbourne Park, hit a brick wall after wrapping up the first two sets, as the German threw caution to the wind to play his shots and clinch the third.

The tactic worked well until 5-5 in the fourth, however, when an unforced error handed Nadal the break and allowed the Spaniard to coolly serve out and seal the match with a sweetly-struck winner.

Nadal next faces Croatian Ivo Karlovic who beat compatriot Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.


Image: Rafael Nadal celebrates his win over Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany

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